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Tag: despair

Drabblecast B-Sides 76 – Sad, Dark Thing

Drabblecast cover for Sad, Dark Thing by Bo Kaier

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Aimless. A short, simple word. It means “without aim”, where “aim” derives from the notion of calculation with a view to action. Lacking purpose or direction, therefore, without a considered goal.

People mainly use the word in a blunt, softened fashion. They walk “aimlessly” down the street, unsure whether to have a coffee or check out the new magazines in the bookstore or maybe sit on that bench and watch the world go by…

Drabbleclassics 26 – Unreliable Witness (235)

Cover for Drabblecast episode 235, Unreliable Witness, by Kathleen BeckettI don’t know if this is the same tape as last time, because They keep moving things around and stealing them. I don’t know who does it. It may be the staff here, or my own family when they come to visit, or the aliens, but somebody’s always doing it — taking my glasses, my tapes, my TV remote, anything I put down for a second. I don’t think it’s the other residents. I used to think that, but I don’t think they’re that organized. Some of them are a bit senile, to tell you the truth…

In this episode of the Drabblecast, Catherine is an 89-year-old nursing home resident plagued by someone who keeps taking her things and a son and daughter-in-law who treat her like a child. When she gets a visit from an alien named Tom, they strike a bargain: He will tell her who the thief is if she tells him the secret to longevity. His race does not live to old age, they die after reaching breeding age and having children (the human equivalent of about 40 years old); he is trying to learn how to extend their lifespan. Despite her insistence that there is no secret he doesn’t believe her, but does tell her no one is taking her stuff – she just can’t keep track of it. Catherine thinks he is lying because he didn’t like that she didn’t have an answer for him and becomes convinced that the people who are taking her stuff are actually looking for alien, looking for clues about their existence among her possessions. She makes a tape recording of her experience, hoping that when they inevitably take the tape and listen to it they will realize they have no reason to continue stealing from her since she will freely tell them everything she knows. In the drabble, a young girl wakes up with a new set of stitches and doesn’t stop searching until she finds the quarter the kidney fairy has left her.

Drabbleclassics 7 – The Store of the Worlds (188)

Cover for Drabblecast episode 188, The Store of the Worlds, by LizTompkins sighed. “What happens is this: You pay me
my fee. I give you an injection which knocks you out. Then, with the aid of certain gadgets which I have in the back of the store, I liberate your mind…”

This episode of Drabblecast starts with Norm recommending and playing an excerpt from Frank Key’s story anthology. In the feature we learn about Mr. Wayne, a man who visits the store of the world in order to discover his deepest desire. Is it simply an escape from a post-apocalyptic world, or is it something more?

Drabblecast 258 – Brown Dust

Cover for Drabblecast episode 258, Brown Dust, by Amber Carky“Adao, no.”  Teo, the older boy’s second-in-command, lays a staying hand on his master’s arm.  “The stories I told you about this one… they’re true.”
“True?”  Adao casts a skeptic’s eye over Santos.  Can those flimsy ribs cage anything as fugitive as truth?

Drabblecast 235 – Unreliable Witness

Cover for Drabblecast episode 235, Unreliable Witness, by Kathleen BeckettI don’t know if this is the same tape as last time, because They keep moving things around and stealing them. I don’t know who does it. It may be the staff here, or my own family when they come to visit, or the aliens, but somebody’s always doing it — taking my glasses, my tapes, my TV remote, anything I put down for a second. I don’t think it’s the other residents. I used to think that, but I don’t think they’re that organized. Some of them are a bit senile, to tell you the truth…

In this episode of the Drabblecast, Catherine is an 89-year-old nursing home resident plagued by someone who keeps taking her things and a son and daughter-in-law who treat her like a child. When she gets a visit from an alien named Tom, they strike a bargain: He will tell her who the thief is if she tells him the secret to longevity. His race does not live to old age, they die after reaching breeding age and having children (the human equivalent of about 40 years old); he is trying to learn how to extend their lifespan. Despite her insistence that there is no secret he doesn’t believe her, but does tell her no one is taking her stuff – she just can’t keep track of it. Catherine thinks he is lying because he didn’t like that she didn’t have an answer for him and becomes convinced that the people who are taking her stuff are actually looking for alien, looking for clues about their existence among her possessions. She makes a tape recording of her experience, hoping that when they inevitably take the tape and listen to it they will realize they have no reason to continue stealing from her since she will freely tell them everything she knows. In the drabble, a young girl wakes up with a new set of stitches and doesn’t stop searching until she finds the quarter the kidney fairy has left her.

Drabblecast 233 – A Blade of Love

Cover for Drabblecast episode 233, A Blade of Love, by K. MartinezAllan Thermoose’s wife is in love with a blade of grass. It’s the 375th blade directly even with the crack in the third slab of sidewalk east of the mailbox. The blade gets full sun all day, and Allan, a stickler for lawn maintenance, is careful to water it, along with all the others, for approximately thirty minutes per day, moving the sprinkler three times to ensure even water distribution. He occasionally counts the residual droplets left on the tufts of grass fifteen minutes after he shuts off the water. If he’s not happy with the results, he repeats the process until he’s positive his lawn has had enough to drink.

This episode of the Drabblecast is concerned with strange love. In the drabble, a mother’s last thoughts are for her son as the mower’s blades cut her down but pass over him. In the feature, Allan Thermoose’s wife falls in love with a blade of grass. Her behavior increasingly unconventional includes: standing outside staring at the lawn, forbidding Allan to cut that blade, sleeping outside on the lawn, and dressing up for the blade. It soon becomes clear that action must be taken.

Drabblecast 226 – The Heroics of Interior Design

Cover for Drabblecast episode 226, The Heroics of Interior Design, by Skeet ScienskiI can’t fly faster than a speeding bullet. I can’t lift a car. I can’t climb slick surfaces with my bare hands or breath underwater or stop time. All I can do is change blue things to yellow. I didn’t bother to buy a cape or a spandex suit like the others. I just bought a blouse and some slacks and went into interior design…

This episode of the Drabblecast explores the idea of being happy with yourself as a unique individual. In the drabble, the titular imaginary runner is invented as part of a game to pass time in the car, but meets a tragic end. In the feature, a woman with a minor Gift (turning blue things yellow) in a world of high-powered superheroes struggles to find a niche.

Drabblecast 188 – The Store of the Worlds

Cover for Drabblecast episode 188, The Store of the Worlds, by LizTompkins sighed. “What happens is this: You pay me
my fee. I give you an injection which knocks you out. Then, with the aid of certain gadgets which I have in the back of the store, I liberate your mind…”

This episode of Drabblecast starts with Norm recommending and playing an excerpt from Frank Key’s story anthology. In the feature we learn about Mr. Wayne, a man who visits the store of the world in order to discover his deepest desire. Is it simply an escape from a post-apocalyptic world, or is it something more?

Drabblecast 183 – Angel of the Ordinary

Cover for Drabblecast episode 183, Angel of the Ordinary, by Dominick Rabrun“They will come on bicycles and by balloon, they will arrive in mailboxes and packages of cake batter. They will come like fleas on the dogs and like giants over the moon. The dull shall be turned into nothing by the coming of the angels…”

Norm presents this week’s Drabblecast in the form of a sermon, allowing us to bask in the glory of weird. The feature story, read by Hearty White, reveals unto us proper preparation for the coming Angels of Discrimination, scourges of the ordinary. Will you be ready?

Drabblecast 177 – Floaters

Cover for Drabblecast episode 177, Floaters, by Skeet ScienskiThat’s when I saw it. A thing — no, not even a thing, just an impression of a thing; a momentary imperfection in that seamless blue — that teased at the edge of my vision. My eye flicked toward it, but it either whipped away faster than the eye could follow or it hadn’t really been there to begin with…

Drabblecast 166 – Jubilee

Cover for Drabblecast episode 166, Jubilee, by Sean AzzapardiThousands of fish — dead, dying, or flopping in the shallows — littered the shore. A dozen people in their nightgowns, pajamas, or hastily-thrown-on street clothes moved along the shore, bending, exclaiming, whistling, laughing. Some had flashlights, but most worked by moonlight, scooping up flounder, blue crab, and shrimp. This was a jubilee, as I remembered them, a pre-dawn beach-party to celebrate the mysterious bounty of the bay…

Tim Pratt Week

Drabblecast 108 – The Wicked Witch Looks at 40 (Decades)

Cover for Drabblecast 108, The Wicked Witch Looks at 40 (Decades), by Mary MatticeThe wicked witch business wasn’t what it used to be.  It had been such a simple thing, to lure children with candy; back in the old days when candy had been hard to come by…

In this episode’s Drabble, a moth eloquently expresses her attraction to a bright light and her own subsequent destruction. The feature story, The Wicked Witch Looks at 40 (Decades), follows Winnie the witch through her (long overdue) midlife crisis. After a particularly discouraging Halloween, where not a single child is captured, she takes the advice of an article in Martha Stewart Living magazine, changing her house and her lifestyle.

Drabblecast 72 – Exit

Cover for Drabblecast episode 72, Exit, by T.A. Holly McCrea“Lieutenant,” she said, “Stevens obviously has it, or he would have quit this crap…”

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